The Maxi...

Since making it's return to the more popular fashion circuits in the last few years it's now taking a distinct vintage turn, angling more towards their predecessors of the 60's and 70's. Being that these dresses are freakin' fantastic pieces that are usually splashed with poignant colours and have the potential for use in any social situation - dress it up or dress it down. Easy!


I myself have enough maxi's to have a closet for themselves but now that I'm hooked on vintage the originals are way more interesting and for all my hijaabi sisters who find it hard to find something modest and awesomely wicked, go vintage baby! The true vintage maxis are the true inspiration for a lot of my pieces which no doubt has been seen in a few of my earlier blogs.


Here are some that I've just located on Etsy.com - they're all in my favourites incase you spot one you love too much to pass by. I'm definitely inspired by caftans - love love love them!!

Very Farrah Fawcet - I have a thing for pleats...

My love of puffy sleeves is definitely no secret and so I just had to post this one


Caftan!!!!


I love this one in all it's love-child glory. Very summer suitable.

The sash on this reminds me of one of my silver dresses - gotta love a good sash

This one's for my abaaya wearing sisters - love it, no?

So now for one of my more recent designs. It's a little more unusual, possibly good for evening wear, especially with it's skirt.


Fellow hijaabi-blogger Ange of Hegab Rehab has also recently done a posting on the fantastic-ness (I know it's not a word!) that is the maxi.
So what's your favourite vintage style?? Not sure? Check out etsy, let me know and maybe I could whip up an original design based on said style. Yay for new inspiration!!
On my way home last week I found myself stuck in the airport for 2 gloriously boring hours with nothing much to do but people-watch. Given that I had not slept the night before as I had been desperately finishing an alternate skirt for my sister, I was absolutely buggered and needed some stimulation. Let's just say the wing 4 of Brisbane Airport is not exactly Heathrow.

So with a jumbo coffee (first on in a long time which explains it's surprisingly strong effect on me) and a new A4 art diary I purchased from one of the airport's newsagents, I decided to throw down some ideas to keep me from falling asleep and missing my plane. Mind you. the idea of passing-out was tempting, considering I was to board a dubious looking Qantas prop-plane; however, after practically sculling my not-quite-hot coffee, I took out my diary an started sketching away. Here's what that coffee-induced haze produced:



Personally I like my caftan/abaaya inspired piece to the right. Again with the foofy sleeves! Plus, great in the Aussie summer!


I have a thing for frills - big chunky frills - as demonstrated on this skirt. This would be a high-waisted two-piece.
I have a few more concepts but I thought I'd just save them for later entries...



For the surprise that was my parent's 25th Wedding Anniversary I set out to design and create some outfits for me and my younger sisters. Mine was hijaab-suitable whilst my sister's were more along there own tastes being 2 regular Aussie chick-a-dees. The theme was silver, naturally, so for about 3 weeks all I saw was silver. I was drowning in a veritable sea of silver satin so, to break up the monotony, I added some greens and purple. Keeping with my inspiration, I designed the 3 pieces with vintage in mind. Mine was long, slightly puffy-sleeved with big cuffs and a slight caftan feel to it. The belt was a thick elastic, satin petals and a diamante button. Here's what it looked like...






My middle sister's was very greek-goddess/maxi dress inspired. I believe I've already showed this one, but as it's part of this particular collection, I had to post it up again. It was fully lined with a green satin lining. It had an empire waist and had a great long sash that she used as a kind of rythmic gymnastics ribbon whilst dancing the night away. Here's how that turned out...






Finally, my youngest sister's was a meshing of the cute with a 50's summer dress. It turned out shorter than the concept but then, my sister is a long-long or short-short dress person, not somewhere in between. It too had an empire waist with ribbon under the bust. It was deco'd with purple, black, silver and green satin heart-like pieces, though 'hearts' was not the intented look. It too was fully lined, this time with purple satin lining. It was later modified so that the bottom of the dress was not frilled and the line of deco around the body was cut to look more freyed and less heart-like. Here is that piece...


So now I'mm off to design some more outfits and perhaps get on with making some of them too! Ciao!
Ok, I'm not talking about the song but at least I'm in the right era. Purple is HOT right now. I myself caved to the overwhelming presence of this colour that I went out and bought some seriously cute purple peep-toe pumps. Try saying that 5 times fast.


Now being that purple is the colour of the moment, I thought I'd go a-searching for some purple vintage inspiration and here's what I found...

Gotta love the boho style...

I love the simplicity of this belt

I'd stick this with some jeans. Again - belt!

Now I don't wear hats, but if I did, I'd definitely wear this. So cute!



I love a foofy sleeve. I'd also wear this with jeans. And maybe a belt...

And here are some shoes, just to top it off...


These are all the rage right now anyways. It just keeps coming back.

So these were my pick for the day. Awesome thing is that if you like any of these pieces, they're available at etsy.com for some really good prices. I've added these ones to my favourites list which is on the left side of this page so you can find them easily. Enjoy!






Being bored and having nothing to do at work leads to an endless number of brainwaves on my part. I'm not really someone who can just sit at my desk and do nothing. I HAVE to do something. So at 4:50 pm yesterday, 10minutes before the mass exodus from work, I had a desperate urge to jot something down. I love the 50's style dresses, the cute rock 'n' roll skirts and boleros but since I like the longer skirt, here is what came out. Add a thick belt (cos they're a sudden passion of mine) and I'm thinking this could go in a cute little print, like strawberries or something for a summer dress or could even be transformed into something more pastel for evening wear.

Flowing dresses, crazy patterns, an appreciation for the clothes rather than how much skin can be bared. Mind you, they did bare their amount of skin suring this time but the majority of love-child, hippy fashion was comprised of long dresses and foofy sleeves. The eccentric colours and patterns are amazing splashes across a bland landscape. To many clothes nowsdays are playing it safe with monotonous colours and repetitive patterns. I've always opted against conforming on this front and have recently purchased some truly awesome pieces of vintage that would brighten anyone's day. Below are some of them, their lines and patterns inspiring some of my more recent concepts.





I love an empire waist. Great for those who don't have the curves and are more like a ruler!



I have a thing for belts at the moment and dresses that need them, like this one. This one was just too cute to pass up. I think I might just have to design something just like it, especially with the belt...


One of my more recent designs was for one of my sisters for a party she is attending. As can be seen, the empire waist is incorporated but she opted out of long sleeves.







And the end product...


Until next time...

I am a notorious sketcher. I love it. I found my school diary from grade 12 and it was about an inch fatter than it should have been due to all the scraps of paper I had sketched on and shoved in the back of it.

Sketching and jotting down clothing ideas has been a small hobby of mine for a while, not taking up too much room in my art diaries but something that I come back to once in a while. Now I try to come up with an idea a day (not hard, given that work is on par with the pace of a snail right now) and while some are a little cooky, others are workable. Here are a few of my recent ideas...




This one I've already made - it was a design for a party.


Forget the pants - this one is for the jacket. I really want to make this one cos I love the colours.

And now I really must get back to sketching - I mean, work...




Etsy, how do I love thee. Etsy is probably one of the most awesome websites I've ever come across. It's a vintage/handmade lovers paradise. And you can buy it all. But first I must explain how my love affair with Etsy began...

It all started a couple of months ago. I was meeting a friend for coffee in the city when she, knowing my unusual and sometimes downright eccentric fashion sense, suggested we checkout this record store that apparently had a nice little vintage clothing section in the back. Having never suspected that this store was anymore than just a record store, I had never actually stepped inside. So I did.

That changed everything.

I blame my current vintage obsession and creative explosion on that very moment, the moment I stepped inside that dimly lit record store with it's Beatles and Rolling Stones shoulder bags hanging from it's walls and it's rows and rows of records and CDs. Right at the back was my downfall...

Mind you, it was only the downfall of my savings account.

Right up the back was a small number of racks that housed a myriad of colourful and at times unusual clothing pieces. Everything from cute little pale pink cocktail dresses from the 50's, to long hippy love-child dresses from the 70's. There were even some fluro abominations from the 80's (which seem to be making a comeback in the mainstream stores. Once was bad enough, peoples). Anyway, since that day, I have only been in there once and not bought anything. It's a bad bad store. I told my friend this. So what does she do?

She sends me the link to Etsy. Evil woman.

This store has not only vintage clothing but vintage everything. One day I went on an Etsy blitz. Spent a whole bunch of money (I will never visit that site if I am in danger of blowing up my credit card with debt) and inspired me to get creative. Seeing all those other people selling their awesome creations online, coupled with the fantastic-ness that is vintage clothing (I know it's not a word, but it is now!) I began creating like crazy.

So thank-you my evil friend, thank-you to all those crazy people who never threw their clothes out, even after 50 years, and thank-you Etsy. Oh how I love thee!!

By the way - the website is http://www.etsy.com/. Enjoy!!

There's one thing you should know about me - I don't start small.

I've always been somewhat of a closet designer, sketching away on my art diaries, but nothing has ever come of it. Until recently. My youngest sister is currently in grade 12 and will therefore be having her formal/prom at the end of the year. She wanted something different for her dress, not just some thing off the rack that will probably end up being the exact same dress as a dozen other people. Designing and having their own dresses made has become somewhat of a trend in late years. So I volunteered to design her a dress. Don't ask me what happened next because I can't quite remember myself. It's all a little hazy. All I can tell you is that all of a sudden I was making the dress too.
Now considering the first and last time I ever had a sewing lesson was in grade 8 and I made a fashionable calico bag which I promptly lost on the last day of school, I can sufficiently say I was not prepared. So to prepare I could have taken some classes at the local CIT college or started with something small like a pillow case but then again, who the heck wants to make a pillow case?? Already got enough of those plus boring. Nope - what I did was go straight for the dress. I thought "seriously how hard can this be??"
So I bought a sewing machine, a dressmaker's mannequin and all the bits and peices I might need, like chalk and pins. Mind you, all the expensive stuff was 2nd hand - I'm not that psychotic. I looked at dresses I had, figured out how everything was put together, bought a little book just incase I couldn't figure something out for myself and made a mock-up of my sister's dress. Mind you, it doesn't have lining and it's not sewn together how it will be but it was mainly just for style purposes anyways.
My other designs are mostly vintage inspired as I have only recently discovered the awesomeness that is vintage clothing. For my sister's dress I combined old Hollywood red carpet with Marilyn Munroe's famous white dress. All my designs are patternless (who needs a pattern??) which, according to one of my friends, is insane. Ah, who wants to be boring and to-the-book anyway? As I said, I don't start small and obviously, don't keep it simple. I've gotten quite into the whole dressmaking, designing thing and now I'm planning on designing and making my own line of clothing to hopefully sell online and off. I've already made 2 more dresses that are for a themed party and have chosen the above name for my line. I hope to put up more sketches and pics of my finished projects soon.

Here are some photographs of my sister's mock-up dress plus the sketches that go with it. Mind you, the mock-up is made of much heavier material than the end product will be. Let me know what you think!



Didn't end up having the v-back...