OUTFIT: Happy, Happy Birthday Baby

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing

A month ago I celebrated my 27th’s birthday. Wow, 27 years of existence. I never really used to celebrate my birthday in any remarkable fashion, but in the past few years, my lovely partner has always found a way to make it special for me.

cherry blossom sakura high tea singapore pollen gardens by the bay

This year, he took me to catch the cherry blossoms that are in bloom and on exhibit at Garden’s by the Bay (Singapore). The line to catch the blooms up-close and personal was too long and we were happy to just catch the ones just around border of the main exhibit. Of course we also took some time to appreciate the other exhibits in the garden.

The highlight of the day was high tea at Pollen, which was the best high tea set I have ever had in Singapore! Yes, I have had high tea at several hotels and cafes in Singapore, but Pollen is definitely the best one I’ve had so far.

high tea singapore pollen gardens by the bay

high tea singapore pollen gardens by the bay

high tea singapore pollen gardens by the bay

The menu consisted of a good range of savoury and sweet items. Even my partner, who isn’t usually a big fan of high tea or sweets, enjoyed the menu thoroughly. And did I mention that there’s free flow of tea and coffee? My partner had about 3 cups of coffee but I only tried 2 different types of tea.

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

Wearing: Cat-eye sunnies by ASOS (from 2 years ago), thrifted vintage bag, pink heels by ASOS (from more than 3 years ago), wooden fan (gift from a friend), and my dearest me-made Edith dress with the luscious Hell Bunny petticoat

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat
And now let’s talk about the dress! This green floral dress is my beloved Edith dress. I made it back in 2012 using the retro Butterick 6582 dressmaking pattern and it’s been featured on my blog a few times (here and here too). And hey, if you’re observant, you’ll notice sometimes it’s a featured photo on my blog header too. Yes, my infatuation with this dress is obvious. This dress is very special to me because I made it around the time I started getting serious about both dressmaking and vintage style. Specifically, I made it so I could have something decent to wear to a vintage fair. It’s really a shame that I haven’t been making such dresses at all in recent years, and I really hope to change that this year! We’ll see…! *fingers crossed*

1950s 1960s floral dress butterick retro sewing hell bunny petticoat

Wearing: Brows by Anastasia Beverly Hills, eyeliner by KATE (Japanese brand by Kanebo), eye shadow by Too Faced, lips by elf, and not forgetting a pair of vintage cluster clip-ons

Do you also have a dress that holds a special place in your heart? xx G

OUTFIT: Gingham all the way! (Part 2 of 2)

Read Gingham all the way! (Part 1 of 2)

So back in December last year I wrote a post on a peasant-style cropped blouse I purchased and played crazy mix and match with. Here’s the second part of the post featuring all the rest of the outfits I styled with this retro gingham blouse. Hopefully, this and the previous post will give everyone some ideas for doing wardrobe remix and for creating simple, retro 1950s pin-up/rockabilly style with basic pieces from your wardrobe!

As seen from the previous post here

As seen from the previous post here

And here’s how you can remix a top like this gingham peasant blouse. You can..

1. Pop on a pair of high-waisted shorts in a coordinating colour

Retro 1950s Pin-up girl style

2. Squeeze into a pencil skirt in a contrasting colour

simple retro 1950s pin up girl style fashion

3. Fool around in a circle skirt

simple retro 1950s pin up girl style fashion

There, it’s as easy as ABC! You know what, I even have a circle skirt in a similar gingham print and I’m hoping to wear that skirt with this blouse together one day. I did try it once but it seemed a bit too much at that point… We’ll see how that goes again!

I hope everyone has had fun reading this series wardrobe remix posts. I am planning to do more of such posts in the future. There’s only so much clothes my wardrobe can contain but the days for OOTDs are endless…

Do you like doing wardrobe remixes or capsule wardrobes? I’d love to hear from everyone!

xox G

Read Gingham all the way! (Part 1 of 2)

MUST HAVE: Sun Jellies Originals Tote for an Instant Retro Flair

Sun Jellies Jasmine tote retro 1950s style

I love plastic shoppers. They have a certain kitschy charm to them and they add an instant retro flair to any outfit.

Most of the retro and vintage bags that I have are pretty small and can’t carry much. This makes things tricky when I have to carry more than my bare essentials (i.e. lipstick, mobile, and purse) when going out.

Sun Jellies Jasmine tote retro 1950s style

Wearing: 1950’s style gingham swing dress (Hell Bunny), retro plastic jelly bag (Sun Jellies Originals)

Sun Jellies Jasmine tote retro 1950s style

Sun Jellies Jasmine tote retro 1950s style

Sun Jellies has a range of totes in delicious colours like white, pastel yellow, pastel blue and pastel pink (or you could also call them Serenity and Rose Quartz aka Pantone colours of the year haha). I am lucky to get my hands on the dreamy white version and I think it’s a lovely addition to my retro/vintage wardrobe. It’s a spacious carry-all that is perfect for trips to the beach and to the mall. Best of all, it has a clip that fastens the handles together so your things don’t fall out of the bag easily. Nothing beats the joy of having both convenience and style in a single bag!

Sun Jellies Jasmine tote retro 1950s style

1950's retro vintage pincurls Asian look

Also, I want to show my first attempt at doing pin curls on my short hair! 😄

You can find Sun Jellies Originals on their site/Instagram/Twitter/Facebook

OUTFIT: Happy 2016 and my Missguided Red Lace Dress

Missguided Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

Oh hey everybody! It’s 2016! *insert party popper emoji*

I hope everyone had a smashing holiday over the Christmas and New Year’s weeks. One of my goals for the new year is to get back into the rhythm of blogging and to write more frequently. This MIGHT be something I mentioned last year… but with the new year comes new hope! Perhaps this year is the year that I really make it happen…

So, what did everyone do for the holidays? My boo and I spent Christmas in the States; we spent most of the time in Texas with his family but also took a little road trip down to New Orleans (aka food heaven). For New Year’s, we went out for a date in the evening to celebrate our 2nd year anniversary.

Missguided ASOS Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

Missguided ASOS Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

Missguided ASOS Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

I have been saving this dress for a special occasion and that definitely was it. This is a MISSGUIDED dress which my friend bought via ASOS. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit her so she passed it to a friend that would be able to wear it (aka yours truly). Lucky me!

Missguided ASOS Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

Missguided ASOS Red Lace Dress 1950s Style

Vintage 1950s Earrings

All the accessories that went along with my outfit are at least 2 or 3 years old. Yes, I like old things. My bag is a vintage beaded evening purse which I thrifted from Vinnies several years back when I was still living in Sydney. My earrings are vintage 1950s and they are actually Christmas presents from my boyfriend’s sister. I’m so smitten with them! Those heels are also from ASOS; they are about 2 years old and are getting pretty worn on the insides. I’m going wear them until they disintegrate.

That little Union Jack thingy is a Rimmel London smokey eyeshadow palette. Umm I bought when I was still in Sydney. Umm, that makes it at least 3 years old. Umm, I don’t think they even make this Union Jack eyeshadow palette anymore? Don’t judge me, these colours are EVERTHING. I am still constantly using them every weekend on my eyes. The only other thing that I should have included in the photo is my MAC Ruby Woo lippy, which is about 2 years old.

And there you go, a quick break-down of my New Year’s day outfit. Put your hands up if you think red and black are best friends! xo

OUTFIT: Gingham all the way! (Part 1 of 2)

Gingham pin-up outfit

Wearing: Gingham peasant blouse (ASOS), retro ‘Call Me’ telephone bag (Betsey Johnson), everything else from eons ago or eBay

A few months ago, I bought a new gingham peasant-style cropped blouse from ASOS (when it was on sale) and I went gaga over it, wearing it almost every weekend in different styles. If you are following me on Instagram, you would have seen a few of those outfit posts. And now, I will be sharing more photos and talking about the outfits in details on the blog!

Let’s start off with the outfit that turned out to be the most pleasant surprise… This outfit was in part inspired by pin-up fashion and in part out of the sheer desperation from the chronic “I have nothing to wear” syndrome that so many of us battle with. I wore the gingham peasant blouse with my uber tight-fitted 4-year-old denim pinafore and my (?)14-year-old pink heart belt.

Gingham pin-up outfit

Gingham pin-up outfit

Oh sweet thing – I think I bought the pink belt when I was 12. I can’t really explain why I have held on to it for so long. I can’t even remember the last time I wore this belt. Have I ever worn this belt? I don’t even know now. Maybe I kept it with me because it felt special to me and I thought it would come to good use one day.. and also, it’s super cute! Honestly, I don’t know where I could get belts like this anymore. Seriously, I would love to have this in EVERY COLOUR. Bumblebee yellow, black, baby blue, forest green… etc.

Betsey Johnson Retro Call Me Telephone Bag

That little Betsey Johnson ‘Call Me’ telephone bag is something newer but still very special to me – it was a Christmas present from my boo last year. The coolest thing about this bag is that the phone actually connects to your mobile and works as a functional receiver. The sound quality from this receiver is actually really good, definitely much better than some random $3 plastic piece of crap I got from eBay years ago.

Betsey Johnson Retro Call Me Telephone Bag

But, as with a lot of things that are special, I don’t use this bag enough. The same goes for my special dresses and special accessories. Yeah, I’m the kind of person who saves the best piece of meat for the last when eating. I guess I do the same for material goods I own.

Also, pink eye shadow to match my pink belt...

Also, pink eye shadow to match my pink belt…

Close-up

Close-up

My boyfriend often laments about how I haven’t worn a few of the vintage accessories he got me as presents. Well, I just want to save them… for something…!!!(???) But then again, he will definitely be glad to know that I am keeping those presents for at least 14 years, just like what I have done with my sweet pink belt. One day, my pink belt will become a vintage item. Ha!

Anyway, if you like this outfit that I have shared, please stay tuned for the other outfits I created with this gingham cropped blouse in the next blog post!

***

Do you also like “saving” things for something special? Tell me all about it!

 

SEWN: 1940’s style Retro Rosie Floral Dress (Pink version)

1940's vintage style retro rosie floral dress in pink

Last week I wrote about the purple version of my Retro Rosie dress that I made using the Retro Butterick B5209 paper pattern. Guess what? I have another version of the dress in pink!

Sometimes I can’t help but laugh at my own silliness. Yes, I bought the same fabric design in 2 different colours and made 2 similar dresses out of it using the same paper pattern. Blame it on my old soul, but I have a weakness for coordinated wardrobes like people used to in the past. If I had enough fabric I would even want to make a separate skirt! And then for a whole month, I would be wearing items from the same series on the weekends. Hehe.

1940's vintage style retro rosie floral dress in pink

1940's vintage style retro rosie floral dress in pink

1940's vintage style retro rosie floral dress in pink

Wearing: Handmade 1940’s vintage style Retro Rosie floral dress; pink sunnies from ASOS.com; black ballet flats from London Rebel; handmade pink peony hair pin

Butterick Retro B5209

(via)

This pink version of my Retro Rosie dress comes with sleeves and the original gathered skirt. Nothing major happened throughout the cutting and sewing process. However, similar to the purple version, the bodice turned out a little loose on me. Fortunately, the sleeves and the presence of a back piece made it all look ok and not too baggy on me, so I didn’t have to do any adjustments like I did for the purple version. I’d definitely resize it if I ever made another one again!

1940's vintage style retro rosie floral dress in pink

1940's vintage style retro rosie floral dress in pink

And now that you’ve seen both versions of the Retro Rosie dress, tell me, which one is your favourite? I’d love to hear your thoughts! x

SEWN: 1940’s style Retro Rosie Floral Dress (Purple version)

1940s inspired style Retro Rose Floral Dress

1940s inspired style Retro Rose Floral Dress

A (long) while back, the McCall Pattern Company reproduced and reprinted a series of Retro Butterick patterns. One of the Retro Butterick patterns I purchased is Butterick 6582 (1960s pattern) which I used to make the Edith dress. The other pattern I purchased is Butterick B5209, a pattern that was first printed in 1947. I chose it because I was smitten with the classic “New Look” silhouette and the fact that the sleeveless version of the dress looks so much like the famous white dress worn by Marilyn!

Butterick Retro B5209

(via)

Unfortunately, the sleeveless version of this pattern didn’t fit me so well in the bodice area and I had to make a few modifications to make it stay close to my body. I shortened the halter neck strap, added elastic along the back, and even added boob pads on the bodice front so I could wear it without a bra. Yes, the slightly plunged neckline at the back makes the wearing of a bra tricky.

1940s inspired style Retro Rose Floral Dress

And… worst of all, by the time I was done with the bodice, I realised that I didn’t have enough fabric to make a gathered skirt like the original pattern. I must have forgotten to plan out the cutting of fabric or I just didn’t get enough fabric – I don’t remember which happened. Regardless, I solved the problem by making a half circle skirt instead. I am so happy that everything turned out just fine!

1940s inspired style Retro Rose Floral Dress

1940s inspired style Retro Rose Floral Dress

1940s inspired style Retro Rose Floral Dress

Now that I have worn it for the first time, I am still feeling kinda iffy about the positioning of the boob pads. I might take them off and sew them on again, this time closer to the centre. And then, I’d be looking forward to wearing it again.. and again.. and again!!! xo

SEWN: Red Hot Batik Summer 1950s inspired fitted playsuit

Red Hot Batik Summer 1950s inspired playsuit

Red Hot Batik Summer 1950s inspired playsuit

The Internet has helped me to realise that there are tons of vintage mid-century Alfred Shaheen playsuits out there. But unfortunately, it’s hard for me to find one with a print that truly speaks to me. Besides, it’s also hard to find an affordable one in my size. Aye, I expect vintage Alfred Shaheen to be expensive, but I am not sure if I am ready to spend that kind of money…yet.

McCall 3919 Playsuit and Skirt Sewing Pattern

McCall’s 3919 Playsuit and Skirt Sewing Pattern (via)

And then I came across this picture of a vintage McCall’s 3919 Instant Playsuit and Skirt pattern (circa 1956). My heart spoke and I did what it said; I drafted a pattern based on this picture, and took a cheap batik tablecloth out of my fabric stash.

Alfred Shaheen was known for using unique fabric designs inspired by the Hawaiian islands. On the other hand, batik fabric is a type of fabric design that is symbolic to and very popular in the Indonesian culture. Batik designs are also seen and used in many countries in Southeast Asia. The uniform worn by the Singapore Girls of Singapore Airlines is one classic example of batik design. These 2 designs come from 2 different corners of the world, but their styles are highly similar, and they evoke the same mood to me. Two words – exotic summer.

Red Hot Batik Summer 1950s inspired playsuit

Wearing: Handmade vintage inspired playsuit, rattan basket bag from Vietnam, laced up ballet flats

Red Hot Batik Summer 1950s inspired playsuit

I was really apprehensive about starting the project because it was my first time drafting a pattern myself after attending a series of Italian dressmaking classes last year. What if I failed!?!?!?!!

Fortunately, I didn’t. Well, I guess it wasn’t a very difficult pattern. I had to take the playsuit in a little bit more at the end, but that was it. The bust area fit fine, the facings match the main body, the armholes look tidy, and the centre-back button entry is right at the centre!

Red Hot Batik Summer 1950s inspired playsuit

Detail: Up close

Armholes

Detail: Armhole with bias tape sewn

Fabric logo

Detail: Unfortunate placement

Red Hot Batik Summer 1950s inspired playsuit

Back details: Centre-back button entry and one gold motif on each half of the back

The other challenge was cutting the fabric pieces according to the design of the fabric. I cut it in a way such that the front has a vertical design down the centre, while the back has a different motif in each half. I had so much fun figuring this out! And everything turned out rather well. The only thing I would pick on… would be the unfortunate placement of the logo of the fabric at the crotch. But I had no choice, the fabric was only a little more than a metre and I was trying to work with the design of the fabric. Good thing it’s not too noticeable.

Red Hot Batik Summer 1950s inspired playsuit

Front details: Vertical design down the centre and a round neckline

I guess the only difference between the original pattern and mine is that I have a regular neckline at the back instead of a lowered neckline. Looking back, the latter would have been a better idea because I can’t reach some of the buttons too easily – getting in and out of the bathroom takes a while!

Other than that, I’m super glad with how everything has turned out. This is definitely something I will keep forever. I am thinking that making clothes using batik fabric to emulate the popular vintage tiki designs might be an addictive business… xoxo G

 

OUTFIT: Roses are retro, rompers are rad

Vintage Style Retro Floral Romper Pin Up Girl

Wearing: Retro style floral romper snagged at the Carousell Swap Shop last Saturday

Vintage Style Retro Floral Romper Pin Up Girl

Happiness is when your curls finally have a tiny resemblance to those pictures you have on your Pinterest board

Vintage Style Retro Floral Romper Pin Up Girl

Following the recent release of The Australian Fashion Report 2015, there has been a renewal of interest in the idea of sustainable and/or ethical fashion. These ideas are not new and certainly not unattainable. Admittedly, I am guilty of purchasing cheap Kmart t-shirts during my poorer days in university. But I have always been a big fan of shopping at thrift shops and repurposing second-hand clothes. I fell in love with the idea of swapping clothes when I attended a clothes swap in Sydney back in 2012 (again, as a poorer uni student). It’s green, cost-saving and most importantly.. FUN!

Since returning to Singapore, I have been trying to search for clothes swap meet-ups (without the need to pay a ridiculous $25 entrance fee). Man, I even toyed with the idea of organising one myself! Then, came along Carousell, a home-grown mobile app that works like eBay… It’s an easy-to-use app for selling unwanted clothes and trading items with other users. I have been using it for a while and was over the moon when they recently organised a swap meet!

I swapped 9 items for 9 tokens 2 weeks ago, and made my way to Orchard Central for the swap event itself last Saturday. Yes, this retro floral romper is one of the items I was fortunate enough to find at the swap meet. It’s a tad baggy at the top, so I think I will take it in a little with my sewing machine. I wore it for brunch and a book swap (yes, another swap event) on Sunday. The curls took me 30mins to do but it was worth it. I think this is my best attempt with pin-up hair to date! Next time I’ll be trying out REAL victory rolls.

Vintage Style Retro Floral Romper Pin Up Girl

Wearing: Retro romper (swapped), vintage mid-century style bag (thrifted), shoes from Qoo10

Vintage Style Retro Floral Romper Pin Up Girl

Vintage Style Retro Floral Romper Pin Up Girl

And I know some of you would be wondering… what about the other items I snagged? Behold, here are the (poor, low resolution) photos of the spoils from the swap!

Carousell Swap Shop Clothes Swap

This gorgeous knitted pencil skirt is perfect the perfect workwear!

 

Carousell Swap Shop Clothes Swap

I’m also wearing this for work

 

Carousell Swap Shop Clothes Swap

A simple navy shift dress for work – I might change those plain blue buttons to gold nautical ones for a twist in the look

 

Carousell Swap Shop Clothes Swap

Love the kimono sleeves on this H&M knitted dress!

 

Carousell Swap Shop Clothes Swap

This cropped cardigans could be potentially useful as I continue to build my pin up wardrobe

There are 2 more items in my swap pile that are pretty much ‘meh’, so I have excluded them in this post. Disappointments are unavoidable in a swap meet. But if you have an open mind and an open heart, swap meets are really fun and eco-friendly way of getting “new” clothes to wear. I am probably going to commit the crime of purchasing something (cheap) made in a foreign garment factory with less than desirable ethics but I am constantly trying to be a more responsible citizen of this planet. I often try to tell myself that I don’t need a bigger wardrobe, I need to learn to make do and mend… And I need to swap clothes more often! 😉

Were you also there at the Carousell Swap Shop? Do you also like swapping clothes?

SEWN: Take A Holiday Gathered & Flared Skirt

Take A Holiday 50s Inspired Gathered & Flared Skirt

Oh hello March!

I think I am starting to get the hang of sewing skirts. This gathered and flared skirt was really easy to assemble. Best of all, I cut the pieces myself without any sewing pattern involved! This is the first time I have sewn a clothing item without the help of a paper pattern. True, a skirt is super easy. But at least this is a start!

Take A Holiday 50s Inspired Gathered & Flared Skirt
Take A Holiday 50s Inspired Gathered & Flared Skirt

This skirt was made with just 1 yard of fabric. I think I have just made up my mind that skirts are the best fabric stash buster.

I bought this dreamy fabric from Spotlight just a few months ago. The houses and trees remind me of the streets I used to walk along in Sydney.. Ah… those long sunny days and hazy summer dreams…

Yes, novelty prints are the best. And why yes, this project was inspired by all the novelty print skirts and dresses from the 1950s. Here are some more to spark some inspiration!

1950s novelty print skirts

(via)

 

1950s novelty print skirts

From left to right: here, here, here

 

Only 2 more weeks to my next holiday! Woohoo! xoxo G