Vintage 1950’s Red Cluster Earrings and Moonglow Necklace


Sharing a vintage a month, since September 2017!

It’s the time of the month again! Yes, it’s time for me to share a piece of vintage item from my very own collection. Instead of sharing a clothing item like I had for the last 4 posts, I have decided to share some accessories this time. In fact, instead of just sharing an item, I am sharing a set of 2 items!

If you are into vintage style like me, you will probably get my love for having things in a set. This means having clothes as a set, having matching shoes and bags, and even jewellery. Basically, having a well-coordinated outfit is important, and this is achieved by wearing things that come in a set.

Owning one or more demi-parures, semi-parures or full parures of vintage mid-century jewellery has always been (and is still) a dream of mine. However, finding a set of vintage jewellery in the style and colour that I love is challenging, and often costly. As a result, I have now resorted to working within the constraints of my budget and using my creativity – I find matching pieces in identical colour to pass off as part of a set.

Here I am, introducing my first faux demi-parure in one of my favourite colours – red. How can any 1950’s-loving gal not have set of red mid-century accessories in her collection? The earrings in this set is a pair of clip-on cluster earrings made up of faux pearl beads, while the necklace is made up of crescent-shaped red thermoset lucite. How classic is this shade of red?

Cluster earrings are very popular in the 50’s and 60’s. These vintage earrings are usually clip-ons, and can have the names of the brands stamped on the back. Some of the popular brands are Coro, Lisner, and Monet, etc. However, my favourite signed earrings to buy are usually the ones signed simply with the word “Japan”. I don’t know why, but perhaps because I don’t care for brand names in jewellery, or perhaps because they evoke a certain sense of mystery – no brands, just the name of a country.  These ones are signed “Japan”.

Thermoset lucite jewellery is another type of vintage jewellery I am always on the look-out for. These plastic jewellery have a special lustre and are also described as “moon glow”. How romantic is that? The half-moon design seems to be particularly popular for thermoset lucite jewellery. But thermoset lucite jewellery can also be set in a variety of shapes like leave, circle, square, rectangle, and even heart-shape. They also come in a range of colours. Some of the colours I have seen are baby pink, coral, orange, forest green, and midnight blue!

I am slowly working on having different sets of jewellery in different colours. That way, I will always have a set of vintage jewellery to put on with any kind of colour I am wearing! This may take my whole lifetime, but hey, a girl can always dream…

Do you also love wearing a jewellery sets? What is your favourite kind of vintage jewellery?


SEWN: 1950’s style Sunday Picnic Dress (Butterick 6212)

Butterick 6212 Gwenstella MadeI have always been a fan of the 1950’s walk-away dress ever since it was featured on The Great British Sewing Bee. When Butterick reproduced the pattern as B4790, I was disappointed to find that the smallest size offered by the pattern was size 8. I’m usually somewhere between sizes 4-6, and having to grade an unusual pattern like the walk-away dress would require more thinking than I would like.

The Walkaway Dress. Left: The re-issue. Right: The original (via Butterick site and Vintage Patterns Wikia)

The Saturday Morning Dress. Left: The re-issue. Right: The original (via Butterick site and Vintage Patterns Wikia)

So, when I found the B6212, which is also another re-issue of a vintage 1950’s sewing pattern by Butterick, I knew I had to get it. Some sites and posts describe it as the “Popover Dress” or the “Saturday Morning” dress. I like both names, but it’s giving me more of a “Sunday Picnic” vibe. I was smittened by the white and red gingham version on the envelope of the pattern, and while I haven’t gone for a real picnic in years, I decided that it would be the perfect colour scheme for Chinese New Year.

Of course, as with all Big 4 sewing patterns (and the sad fact that I have almost non-existent boobs), I had to make some minor adjustments to the pattern before cutting the fabric pieces out. Most of the grading of the pattern involved the bodice. I didn’t make any adjustments to the width of the waist, because I thought I could always change the positions of the buttons to make a tighter fit if I wanted.

For the bodice of the dress, I used a white linen fabric I bought in Thailand some years back, and for the skirt portion, I used a polycotton in a red/white gingham pattern. For the buttons, I decided to make my own fabric-covered buttons using the same linen fabric I used for the bodice, to create contrast in the final look.

Unfortunately, the bodice was somehow still too baggy when I tried the dress on after sewing it together. There was too much room in front of the bust! I had to take in some fabric at the front of the bodice by making some fake vertical darts (ie folding the excess fabric inwards and then topstitching it in place).

There’s also some extra room in the underarm area which I could do nothing about. It’s a little annoying, but generally tolerable as I would be wearing a slip under the dress anyway. I think this is probably one of the biggest design flaw of the dress. I can’t imagine if having bigger or smaller bust will make this problem worse. On the bright side, at least my dress looks better than the one on the McCall site!


Despite the flaws in the design of the sewing pattern, I must say that this is a very easy pattern to sew. I love how it gives the illusion of a circle skirt without the usual yardage that is needed, since the back part of the dress is more like a shift dress. It could also probably be modified easily for an A-line skirt design!

Top: Front view. Bottom: Back view.

Making vertical faux darts on the front of the bodice

For anyone who is making this, I would strongly recommend adding the back-ties, because that allows the waist to be adjusted more easily. You know, sometimes the waist expands by an inch or so depending on how full or bloated you are!

Also, if you REALLY are thinking about making this dress, do a search and find out what others are saying about this dress. Some people really had issues with the underarms for this dress. Do your research and make an informed decision!

Have you made the Walkaway dress or this Saturday Morning dress? Are you a believer or a hater? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

And now for the million-dollar question – who wore it better? The Butterick illustrated model or me?

TUTORIAL: Crochet Sweetheart T-shirt Yarn Purse (FREE PATTERN)

I have always been a big fan of novelty materials. Way back in 2008, I experimented with knitting with fabric strips. Obviously, I had a poor understanding of fabric and how they work back then. The woven fabric I used worked out poorly and it was a failed project.

In recent years, the use of jersey aka T-shirt yarn has gotten “in vogue” again and I have always wanted to embark on a project using T-shirt yarn. When I got this sweet pastel pink T-shirt yarn, I knew I had to make something for Valentine’s Day with it. Rather than plowing through the Internet for something specific, I decided to write my own pattern for my purse. And since I already wrote it, I might as well share it with everyone too!

The best thing about T-shirt yarn is that they are considered a bulky weight and are worked with a large hook, meaning you get to a large size quickly! This sweetheart purse was made with 2 pieces of flat heart-shaped motifs sewn together, and each heart-shaped piece is made up of just 9 rounds.


Yarn: 85m of t-shirt / jersey yarn

(e.g., Darn Good Yarn’s Reclaimed Cotton T-shirt yarn, Hoooked’s Zpagetti, or make your own using thrifted/old T-shirts via the Mollie Makes tutorial here:

Hook: 9.0mm

Other notions: Tapestry needles, 1 button, materials for making option lining (i.e. fabric, sewing needle and thread), plastic bag strap (or make your own using the same yarn)


Size: One size, finished bag measures 23.5cm across

Lining is optional


GwenstellaMade Crochet SweetHeart T-shirt Yarn PurseRnd 1: Create magic ring with 6 sts

Rnd 2: 2sc in each st – 12 sts

Rnd 3: (1sc, 2sc in next st) * rep until end – 18 sts

Rnd 4: (2sc, 2sc in next st) * rep until end – 24 sts

Rnd 5: 7 sc, (2sc into next st)* rep 3 more times, 2sc, (2sc into next st)* rep 3 more times, 7sc – 32 sts

Rnd 6: (3sc, 2sc in next st,) * rep 2 more times, 2sc in next st, 4sc, (2sc in next st, 3sc)* rep 2 more times, 3sc – 38 sts

Rnd 7: 2sc in first st, 7sc, 4hdc, 4dc, 2hdc, 2sl st, 2hdc, 4dc, 4hdc, 8sc – 39 sts

Rnd 8: 2sc in first st, (4sc, 2sc in next st) * rep 1 more time, 3hdc, 2dc in next st, 1dc, 2dc in next st, 2hdc, 1sc, 1 sl st, 1sc, 2hdc, 2dc in next st, 1dc, 2dc in next st, 3hdc, 2sc in next st, 4sc, 2sc in next st, 3sc – 48 sts

Rnd 9: 2sc into first st, 7 sc, 2sc into next st, 3hdc, 2dc, 2dc into next st, 4dc, 2 dc into next st, 1dc, 1hdc, 2sc into next st, 6 sl st, 2sc into next st, 1hdc, 1dc, 2dc into next st, 4dc, 2dc into next st, 2dc, 3hdc, 2sc into next st, 4sc – 57 sts


Rnd 10: 1sc, 2sc into next st, complete with blind sl st (see pictures below for details)

GwenstellaMade Crochet SweetHeart T-shirt Yarn PurseCut yarn off, learning a long tail to weave in or for stitching the 2 heart pieces together. Sew in a loop and a button as the closure for your purse. You can use a store-bought strap for your purse like I did or simply crochet your desired length of chain stitches for the strap of the bag.

GwenstellaMade Crochet SweetHeart T-shirt Yarn PurseTo give my purse a more professional finish, I also added a lining and a store-bought plastic bag chain to go with it. The lining is really optional, but for anyone who is interested in making one as well, here’s how I did mine:

  1. Create a paper pattern for the lining by tracing the shape of the heart motif on a paper. Using the paper pattern as a guide, cut 2 pieces of fabric in the main colour as your yarn, and 2 pieces as the contrast fabric.
  2. With wrong sides together, sew along the lower and side edges of the 2 pieces of fabric in main colour. Repeat this for the 2 pieces of contrast fabric. Snip notches on the bottom pointed corner.
  3. With right sides together, place the main fabric and contrast fabric pieces together. Sew along the upper edge, pivoting at the corners (as shown in the picture). Leave about 5cm of the upper edge free for turning the lining inside out. Cut notch along the curved seam.
  4. Turn the lining inside out. You should now have a lining with the main fabric on the outside and the contrast fabric on the inside.
  5. Sew the 5cm upper edge that was left unsewn using slip stitch. Press the seams if preferred.
  6. Hand stitch the lining into the bag using slip stitch.

I had so much fun taking my new purse out for a spin last weekend. This is such a fun and quirky bag, and is just the perfect size for a quick dash out of the house. If you have lots of old T-shirts lying around at home, it could also be a great upcycle craft! I hope you’ll have fun with T-shirt yarn with this pattern.

Download the FREE PDF version of this pattern which includes step-by-step progression of the rounds via my Ravelry page here. You can share your versions of your project on the Ravelry page and on my Facebook page here!

Vintage 1970’s Floral Dress with Bell-sleeves


Sharing a vintage a month, since September 2017!

So it seems to me that I had completely forgotten about my VOTM post for December 2017. My apologies for that, and let’s pretend that I was on a holiday somewhere…

Welcome back to my “Vintage of the Month” series! This month, I am sharing another piece from the groovy 1970’s, and discussing some very lovable details in this well-made vintage garment.

Wearing: Vintage 1970’s dress, vintage mid-century leather purse, very old RTW heels

I got this beautiful 1970’s Japanese vintage dress when I was on a holiday in Hong Kong a few years back. It’s just about 1/2 to 1 size too large for me, but I couldn’t let it go because of its beautiful shade of meadow green and those graceful, subtle bell-sleeves.

The bell-shape design wasn’t only restricted to pants in the 1970s. They also made their way up and crept into the design of sleeves! Bell-sleeves started becoming popular in the late 1960’s when the free-love hippie movement came about and fashion took on a boho-chic angle. It continued to stay in fashion in the 1970’s, especially in the years when the Gunne Sax and the Little House on the Prairie look became in vogue. Many knee-length and floor-length dresses in those years feature a sleeve design with a wide opening, and a length that goes up to the elbow or beyond. Just like the bell-bottom pants, these sleeves are called “bell-sleeves” mainly because of how they resemble the shape of a bell. The more exaggerated versions with even wider sleeve openings are sometimes described as “angel sleeves” too, because they look like wings when you spread your arms out with these unique sleeves.


I wore this dress for the first time to a friend’s wedding in 2016 and these photos were taken on the day itself. Notice that I have shoulder-length hair in these photos. 😉

As with many pre-1980’s vintage garments, there are many hand-stitching details in this dress. Let’s zoom in and have a look:

Blanket stitches on hook and eye

Blanket stitches on hook and eye

Hand-stitching on the facing

Hand-stitching on the facing

Thread belt loop

Thread belt loop

Sheer polyester fabric with embroidered leaves

Sheer polyester fabric with embroidered leaves

These are all beautiful hand-stitching details that I would like to learn to incorporate into my own sewing. I have only used regular straight stitches when sewing a hook and eye, but I really like the way the blanket stitches look. Yes, I definitely should make it a point to start using blanket stitches when sewing hooks and eyes!

What is your favourite detail of this dress? And to all my sewing friends out there, what kind of vintage sewing technique do you incorporate in your everyday sewing?


SEWN: 1950’s inspired Blue Country Garden Skirt

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

In the second half of 2017, I shared a 1950’s style dress I made using a lovely blue floral fabric from the “Country Garden” series from Spotlight. Unsurprisingly, considering the not-so-secret obsession I have with having things in similar themes and style, I have a few different fabrics from this series and I intend to slowly let them creep into my wardrobe and bloom like morning glory.

This is a simple gathered skirt made with just 3 yards of fabric. The construction was simple. I basically used the skirt pattern from the Vogue 8789 pattern (but just 3 of the rectangles instead of the 4 that the pattern asked for), and added a 1.5 inch band on the top.

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Just 3 rectangles

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

In my previous Country Garden dress made using the Vogue 8789 pattern, I also only used 3 rectangales instead of 4, but only because of insufficient yardage. I subsequently read some reviews on Facebook where some sewists commented that using 4 rectangles resulted in too much bulk in the waist. Since I wanted this to be a casual day skirt, I decided to just go with just 3 rectangles for the body of the skirt.

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

I like including the selvedge in my sewing. I usually include in the side seams, but in this project, it’s used in the hem. This way, I also get to avoid folding in the raw edge before sewing the bottom hem!

Of course, I used a side-lapped zipper, just like the way our grandmothers used to sew.

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Having 3 rectangles for the body of the skirt means that there will be 3 seams for the skirt. I decided to wear the skirt with the zipper (and seam) at the back, so the other 2 seams are closer to the sides (even though they are located on the front. Regardless, the skirt is quite voluminous with the yardage involved and you can’t really catch the seams with the fluff and busy floral print.

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Wearing: Secondhand white bustier, Gwenstella Made skirt, very old high street heels

I’m wearing a thrifted Betsey Johnson petticoat underneath my skirt in these photos. Despite it being a gathered skirt and not a classic circle skirt, it still has a good volume and looks good with a petticoat worn under. Can you see the seams in the photo easily?

Tell me what you think about my Country Garden series with a comment below! I love hearing from everyone. xx

MADE: 1950’s Bardot-inspired Bright Red Sweater

Bardot Inspired Knitted Red Sweater
Bardot Inspired Knitted Red Sweater


The inspiration behind the sweater

Brigitte Bardot has always been my muse. I love her iconic woke-up-like-this hair and sense of style. When I am in need of some cute and flirty 1950’s vintage style inspirations, I always turn to Pinterest and enter “Brigitte Bardot style” in the search bar.

This picture of Bardot with her wide bambi eyes, alluring lips, unbrushed look and bright red sweater is something that caught my eye a while back. I have always wanted to have a red sweater like that.

Obviously, with a design that simple, I could always just find a similar one from a high-street store. But why would I want to do that when I know that I could make my own?

Finding the pattern

When I came across the Knitting It Old School book in a secondhand bookstore in San Francisco in 2016 and saw the pattern “Swing Time” by Kirsten Kapur, I knew I had found the right pattern. It has just the right design details: round neckline, ribbing in the body, short sleeves.

Unfortunately (and rather unsurprisingly), the smallest size offered by the pattern is for a 32″ bust. I *could* have a 32″ bust if I wore a good bra and kept my chest out all the time. But ain’t nobody’s got time for that.

I have always wanted to try grading a knitting pattern. I have graded many sewing patterns but grading knitting patterns just seems like swimming in dark waters to me. Unpicking sewing stitches is less painful than frogging a whole knitted sweater!

After reading this article from the archives of the online Knitty magazine, I decided to jump in and take a swim. Moreover, I have a ton of vintage knitting patterns that I would LOVE to knit but aren’t my size. I just have to try grading a pattern at some point.

Bardot Inspired Knitted Red Sweater
Bardot Inspired Knitted Red SweaterFinding the yarn

The next problem I faced was finding the right yarn for the project. I have knitted a fair share of projects using cheap acrylic yarn that I have bought and hoarded over the years from the time I was a poor university student. As I am starting to become more concerned about the amount of plastic amassing in landfills and floating in the ocean on planet Earth, I wanted to make the switch to using natural fibres. Living in the tropical island of Singapore where summer happens ALL YEAR ROUND makes using cotton the obvious choice. I bought my cotton yarn via a shop on (which is basically Chinese Amazon). The name of this stunning shade of red is, believe it or not, called “China Red” (when directly translated from Chinese).

I absolutely love this yarn! It’s a cotton blend that consists of 60% cotton and 40% milk fibre. It’s soft and easy to knit with. I have worn the sweater a couple of times and it seems to be holding up pretty well so far. Well, you can ask me again in a few months’ time!

Grading the pattern

So, for anyone who is interested, here’s how I graded my pattern:

I made a gauge and studied the different sizes of the pattern. This pattern is written for S (M, L etc) – 32 (36, 40 etc)” chest. I wanted a 30″ chest (so kinda like an XS). That means that it is 2″ smaller than the smallest size.

The difference between XS and S is 2″, while the difference between S and M is 4″.

So, when the pattern asked to CO 98 (110, 122 etc), I decided to CO 92 for my XS sweater.

110 (size M) – 98 (size S) = 12

Difference between XS and S = 0.5 x difference between S and M = 0.5 x 12 = 6

Number of stitches to CO for size XS = size S – 6sts = 98 – 6 = 92

I applied the same concept throughout for the number of stitches required and the length of certain parts that were stated.

Bardot Inspired Knitted Red Sweater
Bardot Inspired Knitted Red Sweater

Details: Gold-tone buttons saved from a vintage dress I changed the buttons for

The end result

I guess… it worked? The only other modification I made is reducing the length of ribbing for the sleeves so I won’t have the weird thick sleeve cuffs folded over and it would look more like the sweater that Bardot has. My sweater has a snug fit, which is what I want and need for the vintage look. Can you imagine what it would have looked like if I hadn’t graded the pattern!?

The original pattern describes the sweater to be a 1940’s style design. For some reason, knitting it in red made it look more like a 1950’s style highschool cheerleader sweater of some sort. Don’t you think so?

Bardot Inspired Knitted Red Sweater

Showing you the seams under the pits!

Bardot Inspired Knitted Red Sweater

A video of how I did my hair is also available on my Instagram. Photo edited with A Colour Story Stardust filter pack by Keiko Lynn.


Pattern: Swing Time by Kirsten Kapur (from Knitting It Old School)

Yarn: Basic cotton red yarn from

Modifications: Reduced length of ribbing for sleeve cuffs, graded pattern to fit XS

SEWN: Meowy Kitschmas Pencil Skirt (self-drafted pattern)

meowy christmas gwenstella made sewing

meowy kitschmas gwenstellamade Happy holidays everyone! We only have less than a week to go before 2018 hits the town!

I hope everyone is having a great time this holiday season with your loved ones. My partner and I spent Christmas day together in Singapore for the first time this year. We had a low-key lunch date together at P.S. Cafe at One Fullerton, and I finally had the chance to wear my “Meowy Kitschmas” pencil skirt. Yes, you heard me right. Meowy Kitschmas.

meowy kitschmas gwenstellamade

meowy kitschmas gwenstellamade This project has been brewing at the back of my mind for at least a year. I bought the fabric in 2016 and didn’t get to start on a project in time for Christmas then. Naturally, I had to wait a year for Christmas season to come around again before I could start working on a project with it.

I originally intended to make a simple gathered skirt with a fitted waist, but by the time it was November, I had made so many flared skirts and dresses that I was pretty much sick of making flared skirts. I wanted a project that I could learn something from, and a project that is different from all the other sewing projects I have embarked on and completed this year. And so, it was obvious that I had to make a pencil skirt with a self-drafted pattern (with the help of my Bunka Fashion Series book). Of course, it was also helpful to know that many of you who checked out my Instagram story voted for a pencil skirt. 😉

meowy kitschmas gwenstellamade

meowy kitschmas gwenstellamade Being the person that I am, I couldn’t settle for REALLY just a BASIC pencil skirt. I wanted something different with a bit of retro 1950’s inspired rockabilly vibe.

These are the key design points to this basic pencil skirt:

  • Wide waistband with a higher front than back
  • Exposed metallic zipper
  • Organic cotton lining
  • Slightly exaggerated tapered bottom

meowy kitschmas gwenstellamade

meowy kitschmas gwenstellamade

To be honest, the use of an exposed metallic zipper kind of happened out of necessity. Somehow I made some wrong measurements when drafting the skirt and ended up with a smaller waistline than I intended. I had to reduce the width of the seam allowance where I was going to insert the zipper to make sure that I could still insert a zipper. The zipper insertion was successful, but upon trying the skirt on for the first time, I realised that the zipper was faulty and I had to force myself out of the skirt with a stuck zipper. It was not a pretty sight.

When I finally tore myself out of the skirt, I decided to use an exposed zipper so that:

a) I could add some bling to the skirt
b) I could have a wider seam allowance for inserting the zipper
c) I could learn something new

meowy kitschmas gwenstellamade It was one of my best decisions ever! The exposed metallic zipper worked perfectly… and feels way stronger than a regular invisible zipper too.

I love the way the skirt looks and feels on me. The organic cotton lining is soft on the skin and the tapered design gives me the rockabilly wiggle when I walk – it’s everything that I have dreamed of and more!

You know what else makes this skirt special?

Proudly “Gwenstella Made”

This pencil skirt, is the very *first* item in my sewing history to bear the bold label of “Gwenstella Made”. Can you believe it!?

I am so glad that the Dutch Label Shop came forward to offer me some labels to use for my sewing projects. I created my labels easily and quickly on their site itself – no fancy designer software or knowledge needed! You can choose from a wide range of colours and generic symbols. I chose black, grey, and pink with a sewing machine, ball of yarn, and heart respectively. Aren’t they lovely? I am soooo looking forward to using them for my personal sewing, knitting/crochet projects and other handmade gifts in 2018! I will be sharing a discount code for anyone who is interested in getting some labels made too. Keep your eyes peeled!

One Fullerton PS Cafe Singapore Christmas

With my partner Steven, taken in PS Cafe at One Fullerton

What do you think about my first Christmas sewing project? Do you have the tradition of making a new thing for Christmas or any other holiday(s) like Hanukkah or Kwanzaa that you celebrate each year?

UPDATE (10 Jan 2018): Get 15% off your purchase from the Dutch Label Shop when you enter the code “gwenstellamade15” before you check out! xxx

Vintage Pledge 2017 round-up & 2018 Make Nine

Gwenstella Made Vintage Pledge 2017

Vintage Pledge 2017 Round-up

It’s only about less than 2 weeks until we bid goodbye to 2017 and usher in the brand new year of 2018. How has the year been for everyone? After years of suffering from a creative drought (a side effect of moving away from the life you want and starting a 9-5 job), I think it’s now safe to say that I am finally on board the train to sewing enlightenment. Full speed ahead with no time to lose!!!

This year, I completed an unprecedented number of sewing projects – 2 pyjamas sets, 2 skirts, 2 shorts, 2 sun tops, 2 dresses, and 1 men’s shirt to be exact. Most of these projects have already been featured on my blog, but there are still a handful of them that are waiting to be shared.

At the start of the year, I also jumped on the Vintage Pledge bandwagon. Just a recap for everyone, this is what I pledged:

“For the year 2017, I pledge to sew (at least) an item each for the purpose of home, work, play, and party. I will use a pattern from a different era for each project, and I will use a different type of fabric for each project.”

Here’s a round-up of all the items I made using vintage or vintage reproduction patterns this year. How did I do with adhering to my pledge? Let’s see… did I use different types of fabric? Nope. I only used cotton in these projects. I simply have too much cotton in my current stash!

How about different eras? Who was I kidding? All the patterns I used this year are from the 1950’s. I guess I am just all about the 1950’s!

How about different purposes? Hmmm, let me think… My pink pyjamas set is obviously loungewear, my lemon dress made an appearance at work once, my green gingham set went on a holiday with me to Colorado and Texas, and my blue Country Garden dress was worn at my friend’s wedding in Byron Bay, Australia. I guess I did sew different items for the purposes of home, work, play, and party this year!

Touring the city of Denver, CO with my green gingham skirt (2017)

Walking along the street after breakfast at Lucile’s in Boulder, CO (2017)

Another day in Denver, CO (2017)

At a dear friend’s wedding in Byron Bay, AU (2017)

Obviously, the vintage pledge is not a life-and-death deal. It would have been great to have stuck to it. Imagine all the skills I would have learnt from working with the different fabrics and all the fun I would have had playing dress up for the different eras! But, I might not have had the joy of sewing what my heart wanted and making something “just for the sake of it” would have been tiresome. I am really proud of everything I made this year and I am really looking forward to another year of creating and learning.

I have made some rough plans for 2018 and it’s mainly going to be about using the fabrics that I have in my stash and making sure I don’t buy new ones… just cause they are pretty and I have no self-control. Heh. It also seems to me that I have used mostly prints this year, so I am going to make it a point to sew with more plain fabrics next year.

So, instead of listing 9 different projects I have in mind, here are the 9 different fabrics I have in my stash which I will be using in 2018:

From top to bottom:

  • White swim fabric
  • Black swim fabric
    • OMG YES I am going to make a bathing suit in contrasting colours
  • Red cotton in casino print
    • Obviously, this will be a 1950’s inspired rockabilly bustier top. Maybe with boning…
  • Burgundy rayon
    • For the sake of not divulging any information about my next big project, I just want to say that this will be used for making a wearable muslin for my BIG project. You know it’s important when I actually PLAN to make a muslin.
  • White line/poly mix
    • This is the contrast fabric for my latest project – Butterick 6212
  • Red gingham polycotton (large squares)
    • This will be a skirt, but I haven’t checked the yardage so I am not sure if it’s going to be a 1/2 circle, 1/4 circle, or just a basic gathered skirt.
  • Salmon pink linen
    • I think I have at least 3-4 yards of this. Guess what, I am going to be making coordinates with this!
  • Red gingham polycotton (small squares)
    • This is the skirt portion for my B6212 dress. No surprises here really, especially if you follow me on Instagram and have already seen photos of me working on this in my InstaStory!
  • Novelty red polycotton in Southeast Asian inspired print
    • Yes, another Shaheen-inspired item! The last time I used a batik fabric was for a self-drafted playsuit. This fabric will be used for making a Southeast Asian version of a Hawaiian sarong dress!

Did you also take part in the Vintage Pledge this year? How did you pledge go? What is the biggest project you are planning to make in 2018? Tell me all about it in the comments section! x G

Vintage 1970’s Faded Glory Denim Jumpsuit


Sharing a vintage a month, since September 2017!
vintage 1970's faded glory denim jumpsuitAh… the 1970’s. What a glorious time!

I’m sure everyone will agree with me that bell bottoms are the most iconic style from the 1970’s. I am usually more of mid-century style gal, but there’s something about bell bottoms that makes my heart sing and my hips shake to the soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever.

vintage 1970's faded glory denim jumpsuit

vintage 1970's faded glory denim jumpsuitWhen I found this denim jumpsuit in a Buffalo Exchange in Colorado earlier this year, it was love at first sight. I have been searching for a vintage (denim) jumpsuit for as long as I can remember, and to find a vintage one in a resale shop is just like a dream come true! Of course, the fact that it fits me is the icing on the cake.

vintage 1970's faded glory denim jumpsuitFor me, the bell bottoms and label are dead giveaways for the age of this jumpsuit. I have thrifted a couple of items by Faded Glory previously and I immediately recognised that this ornate design appears to be an older version of the one they have in other items I have, like this straw bag I used to own (pictured below). Usually, I would consult the label resource on Vintage Fashion Guild to confirm my suspicion. Unfortunately, there’s no entry on Faded Glory on the site currently.

A straw bag by Faded Glory with a different label design. I thrifted this a few years ago in Texas.

What I usually do next is a bit of detective work – I would look up other items with the same label that are listed on online sites such as eBay and Etsy. True enough, many people have also described this label as something from the 1970’s.

In addition to the design of the company label, the “Made in Hong Kong” label provides another detail that supports my guess. Most high-street items these days are made in China and other developing countries such as Vietnam and Bangladesh (where labour is cheap, sadly). When industralisation started gaining speed in the 1970s, many factories that produced clothes were located in countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan. Some quality vintage items from the 1950’s and 1960’s may even be labelled as “Made in British Crown Colony of Hong Kong”.

So there, in summary, these are the details that helped me decide the age of the jumpsuit:

  • Decorative design of the company label which is different from what I know
  • “Made in Hong Kong” label
  • Iconic bell-bottom design

Do you like the fashion from the 1970’s? What’s your favourite part of the 1970’s?

SHOP: Australia 2017

Searching for unique handmade, vintage and secondhand items all around the world…

I love shopping. There, it’s plain and simple – I love buying stuff. But I’m trying to avoid careless consumerism that is slowly destroying our planet. When it comes to shopping, I’m a big fan of the more eco-friendly (and sometimes more stylish) alternatives… vintage and thrift shopping!

Unfortunately, there is a huge black hole in the vintage and thrift shopping scene in Singapore. Since moving back to Singapore 5 years ago, every holiday I have taken involves multiple trips to different vintage and thrift shops. Over the years, I have amassed a collection of things from various thrift shops and vintage stores overseas. They each tell a story and serve as great physical memories of my trips. They are the perfect holiday souvenirs!

Unsurprisingly, my recent trip to Australia a month ago consisted of trips to various op shops, antique stores and vintage boutiques in all the little suburbs I visited. I stayed in Brisbane for 3 days and Gold Coast for 2 days, and visited about 9 or more shops in total.

And now that we are done with the preamble, here’s the details of my haul!

Vintage 1940’s garter from Commercial Road Antiques & Decorative Arts (Brisbane). Vintage nylon hose mending pack thrifted from Vinnies in West End (Brisbane).

Two sets of vintage glass buttons from Retro Metro (Brisbane).

Vintage beige purse and modern plastic tortoise shell screw-back earrings thrifted from Vinnies in Paddington (Brisbane).

It’s so uncommon to find modern earrings with screw-ons! They are still in mint condition.

Vintage Gold Crest purse.

Bone and wood necklace from Animal Welfare League QLD op shop in Southport (Gold Coast). Wooden mini hoops from Vinnies in West End (Brisbane).

These wooden hoops remind me so much of the Flinstones!

Sewing paper patterns from various op shops in Gold Coast. The red dress on the far left looks like such an easy and classic make! The skirt suit look is a little out of my comfort zone but I couldn’t let it go! The Kwek Sew pattern looks like it’s from the 1980’s but I might be wrong. Regardless, I could make a cool 1950’s inspired bomber jacket with this pattern.

Book on sewing knit fabrics from Vinnies in West End (Brisbane). Knitting book from op shop in Gold Coast. I am most looking forward to knitting that cute little green number on the front of the cover!

Various craft books from Retro Metro (Brisbane) and an op shop in Gold Coast.

For anyone who is interested, here’s the list of op shops and vintage shops I visited. I didn’t buy something in every shop, but these shops are all great for browsing if you happen to be in the area!

Commercial Road Antiques & Decorative Arts
85 Commercial Rd, Newstead QLD 4006, Australia
Paddington Antique Centre
167 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064, Australia
Retro Metro
297 Given Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064, Australia
Vinnies (Paddington)
16 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington QLD 4064, Australia
Vinnies (West End)
134 Boundary St, West End QLD 4101, Australia


Cat & Hound Antiques & Collectables
18 Young St, Southport QLD 4215, Australia
Animal Welfare League QLD Op Shop
18B Young St, Southport QLD 4215, Australia
Add Care Op Shop
10B Railway St, Southport QLD 4215, Australia
Lifeline Shop Southport
Southport, 14/12 Railway St, Gold Coast QLD 4215, Australia