Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quote of the month - March 2010

"I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it"

I dont think I am much like the great Audry Hepburn, but it is to this quote that I relate better than any other quote I have ever read....the story of my life! It is a state of being that opens one up to being terribly hurt and misunderstood, but also to feeling exstatic elation and joy, even in simple friendships.

Love to you all today !

Best ever setting lotion....

Now, it is obvious by reading my blogg that I am not one to promote products just for the heck of it.......infact the only time I think I have done a post about a product was to road test various red nail polishes. However, I simply have to tell you what a difference dying my hair blonde and using the Lindy Charm School for Girls setting lotion has made to my ability to create a vintage look hairstyle. Firstly, being blonde has enabled me to use much less product in my hair as the style I create holds so much better....when I was brunette it used to slip out unless I plied it with handfuls of the strongest hold gel etc etc etc. Now that the bleach has done its wonderous thing, I simply wash my hair once a week and set it with my favourite setting lotion. I pop in hot rollers and when the lotion is dry and the rollers have cooled I remove them and brush out the curl to whatever look I desire for the day. A squirt of hairspray and its done !! Simple ! The best bit is that for the rest of the week I dont have to put anything more than hot rollers in my hair to acheieve a great look.....

So  if you are chasing that glamerous 40's or 50's pin up look, you simply must get yourself a bottle of the Lindy Charm School for Girls Essential Setting Lotion - it's a dream !

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Here comes Wintersun !!!

Not many sleeps now !! Wintersun is coming on the long weekend in June ! If you have never been to this most amazing of nostalgia festivals, be sure and get yourself there !! Here are some of the great events goin' down in 2010..........

How adorable is this !! A wonderful addition to the festival Chrissy !

(Make sure you check out all the beautiful models - female and male -showcasing vintage bathers in all their glory!)

You cant beat professional vintage hair and make up at the ultimate place to wear it !

The line up of bands and musical entertainment will be utterly fantastic with artists such as:

and even yours truely will be making a bit of a songstress appearance !

Whatever you do, dont miss Wintersun's going to be just wonderful !

Lindy Charm School for Girls

If you missed the last one - DONT miss this one - the Lindy Charm girls are coming to town again !

What: The Lindy Charm School for Girls
Bookings: email or phone 0409 727 888.

Where: The Library, Father Flanagans – 484 Smith Street Collingwood (cnr Alexandra Parade)
When: Saturday 10th July from 12 noon to 3pm.
Cost: $60.

Where: TBA (ladies who have enrolled will be notified)
When: Sunday 11th July from 10am to 1pm.
Cost: $60.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Summer Dresses....Part Two

I love to sew pretty things - it is such a creative outlet. However, this was not always the case as my family and my dear friend Brookie will attest....many a time they saw me throw a dress to the ground (or across the room!!!) in sheer frustration, because I couldn't get it to come together as I envisioned! I have always loved creating things and would hand make dresses and outfits for my Barbie Dolls as a child, but as I grew older the needles and threads began to gather dust. It wasn't until my grandmother in law passed away, and I  inherited her sewing machine and substantial sewing equipment (she was a seamstress at a factory), that my love for sewing was rekindled. Initially I began by making drapes and cushions etc for our house, but as I began to get immersed in vintage culture, I discovered that making vintage look dresses was tremendously satisfying.

It seems that women in the 1950's were alot shorter and more petite than I, hence, being very tall, I would find the waist lines of vintage dresses were more princess line on me! What to do? I began having sewing afternoons with Brookie who had a wealth of patience, and an awesome collection of vintage sewing patterns from the 1920's to the 1960's. We would make up dresses from these patterns, while I learnt from Brooke some valuable tips such as how to suit a fabric to a pattern or style, and the necessity of matching pattern measurements to your size, instead of simply going on the sizes stipulated on the front of the pattern (the sizings have changed over the years). Any skill or love of creating vintage clothing I pretty much owe to Brooke and her inspiring cases of patterns!

The final stage in my clothing making education came when I bought myself a maniquin off ebay. If you are interested in sewing your own clothing, I cannot stress highly enough the importance of getting yourself a maniquin - at least, it has made a world of difference for me. I can fit things properly now, and it also allows me to experiment and change things with the ease of knowing they will fit and 'work'. I am also blessed to have a local, and utterly brilliant dressmaker in town for a friend (love you Jean!) on whom I can call if I ever find myself in a jam !

For me the learning element of sewing and creating does not end.....I have recently obtained a 1951 McCalls entire pattern book....the Bible for any vintage sewers or fashion lovers ! The next step for me will be to learn to create patterns for outfits from these images....this will no doubt involve some sort of short course, but the inspiration of these fabulous pictures is enough to motivate me !!

Here are the remaining dresses from my 'summer collection' little maniquin (my display girl - not my creation maniquin which is an ugly bright red) will be making a number of trips to various local destinations over the coming seasons, so be sure and stay tuned for her adventures !

Above is a pretty, flowey vintage fabric (my guess is 1960's or 1970's) that I received in a bundle of old patterns etc. I made it up to a reproduction McCalls vintage evening dress pattern top and simply popped an A line skirt on the bottom - I really do need to make this one again as it looks quite lovely on !

A simple green spotted 'wiggle dress' - this is actually some Christmas quilters cotton material, but I thought  was a nice variation of the whole spotted look - love the inclusion of aqua in there !

You might recognise this material from Part One - I loved it so much that I made up two dresses from it - just in case one was in the wash when I wanted to wear it !! This one has a standard top and a pleated skirt which looks very flattering and 'Grace Kelly' or 'Betty Draper' like when worn.

Hmmmm, this pink one was a triumph in sewing, but somewhat of a disaster in style. It looks so dowdy on me that I am thinking of taking the skirt off and making it a strait one (instead of full circle) to try and 'lift' the whole look....I am not going for 1950's grandmother style ! And I was so proud of the lace detail at the sleeve and collar - oh well!


Ok, so three photos (at the same angle !!) of the one dress is a bit over board, but I do love this one ! I very rarely wear it as it is quite tisey for alot of the events I attend, but it is oh so beautiful ! The fabric was from the Sydney '50s Fair at Rose Seidler House and I must confess I had this one made up for me by Jean - I was lacking in confidence of my own abilities and didn't want to wreak this lovely material ! I designed the dress, drew it for Jean and she made it up for me...and I am delighted with it....very easy to feel like a little girl playing princesses in this floaty number !

One thing I have learnt in sewing is to simply have a go! So many people tell me they would love to be able to make their own clothes but don't have skill....well, no one has the skill until the practise and have a go ! It took me many failures, alot of patience and perseverance to reach a point where I can actually have some pride in what I create, dive in and try, there is nothing like the sense of achievement and satisfaction it brings in the end !!

If you would like to undertake a sewing course, particularly a vintage one, then I recommend contacting the girls at Thread Den in Melbourne for all the help you could possibly need ! (If there are any such places in other cities world wide, then please contact me and let me know - I will include them in this post.)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Summer Dresses....Part One

What an industrious summer I have spent, mostly in front of the sewing machine and under the airconditioner !! I have created so many beautiful garments from vintage patterns this past summer season that I simply had to share them with you all......

I know it is a little too late for any southern hemisphere inspiration as we head into our cooler months, but for all my northern hemisphere friends, perhaps my little creations might spark your creative juices for the coming season......

This summer I have had a real thing for 1950's style sundresses teamed with cardigans and wedges, and there is usually a rope of beads and a flower in my hair for that little extra flourish....

One balmy late summer evening I was blessed to leave my poppets in the care of their daddy while I hied myself down to the local bushland reserve, 100 year old manniquin in tow, for a little photo shoot....and here are the results.....sufice to say I am somewhat chuffed at how they came up - dresses and manniquin looking an absaloute treat ! I hope you all enjoy browsing as much as I did creating !!

I love this material - a wonderful fresh cotton with a beautiful rose print on a white background...I love it so much that I actually made up two different dresses from it !! The second one will feature in part two....This dress has a 1950's pattern strait skirt attached to a midrif and gathered bodice from a modern dress pattern - I so enjoy being able to make my own creations combining bits and peices from the styles I love.....

This little number is so candy cute ! Once again it is a gathered bodice with plain midriff and a 1950's pleated skirt in green, pink and blue candy stripe cotton - looks a treat comined with pink cardigan and accessories !

I had a bit of trouble photographing this one as the chocolate brown pattern seemed to get lost in the forrest ! However, this material was really special as I picked it up from an Op Shop in Boort (Northern Victoria) for about $3 - it is genuine 1960's fabric with a stiple (raised) effect all over it and looks just great with black accessories. It's made from, once again, a 1950's pleated skirt pattern ( I find pleats, strait or circle skirts the most flattering  - gathered skirts always add extra unwanted bulk unless the fabric is extreemly sheer!) and a modern plain midrif and plain scoop neck bodice.

This is one of my favourite dresses, mainly for the material pattern - roses and stripes on a grey blue background. I tend to gravitate to quilting cottons when making vintage inspired sundresses, as the prints I find there most accuratly represent the dresses I have seen in movies and magazines from the era's I love. When I can, I do enjoy using genuine vintage material, but good reams of this can be hard to come by out here in the country! This dress is actually one of my own designs - the straps sit on the shoulder, and the line is smooth and flows well - it looked really fantastic when my hair was brunette, but doesnt quite work AS well now that I am blonde - I still love it though !

And how cute is this little number - silly me - I didnt take a picture of the dress without the apron !! This one really is my ultimate 1950's housewife dress - pretty light summer gingham in my favourite colour with a huge ginham ruffle around the bottom of the A line skirt and a fairly plain top.....cant you just picture yourself baking a cake in this one ??

This conclueds part one of my summer dress creations - and I must say my photography (knowing just how to pose my model for best effect) will also improve in Part Two which I will post next week......till then, be inspired to dust off your sewing machines !! XX

Events not to miss....Bama Lama March 2010

If you love live music and burlesque in a terrific atmosphere, Bama Lama is something not to be missed ! I soooo wish I was going , but it looks like I am going to have to wait till the next one....if you get along, please have a gin and tonic for me ! Have fun - and dooooo dress up !

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

High Tea at the Park Hyatt to welcome Carly to Circa Vintage

What a wonderful afternoon I had last Sunday !! Dolling myself up appropriatly, I sojurned into the heart of Melbourne for High Tea at the Park Hyatt. I parked my car at the Fitzroy Gardens and meandered through the beauty of the Autumn afternoon across to the Hyatt where my breath was taken away by the sheer gloriousness of the foyer and grand staircase - what a gracious interior design job...all very art deco inspired ! I soon found myself seated in the restaurant at a table of the most exquisitly dressed women in town (and men too Tim!), and dining on delectable goodies such as mini salmon sandwhiches, scones (with jam and cream), panacotta, mud cake, endless tea and a glass of champaign - de-lightful, de-licious and de-lovely !

Surrounded in all this exquisitness, one could easily be lulled into thinking this was perfection - but what is all this beauty without sparkling company? And last Sunday afternoon certianly had the best of vintage loving company anywhere to be found !! We tired not of talking clothing, art, film, music, dance and culture alongside the 'ordinary' things such as study, children, occupations etc too. For this simple country girl it was an experience to be treasured always !! An enormous big thankyou to Nicole and Tim, Carly, Esther, Victoria of Circa Vintage for organising this most lovely of days ! If you are ever in Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, do make sure you pop in and say hello to the girls from me ! Below are some photos of all the darling women (and Tim) who made the day so special....make sure you also check out their wondeful blogs for more vintage inspiration.....

Julie from Ballarat Vintage Style, and Jules from Poppet

Carly and Esther from Circa, and Candice from Super Kawaii Mama

Claire from HarbourMaster, Tamasein from Underground Cinema and Fiona, aka burlesque dancer Foxtrot India and also from Circa

Marianne from Esme and the Laneway, Victoria from Circa and Eszter from Kitty’s Drawings

Nicole and Tim from Circa, and Maria from Vintage Suburbia

Maria from Vintage Suburbia with yours truely.

Unfortunatly, I had to leave a tad early before full length dress photographs of everyone were taken, but if you look up the blogs listed above, you will see the wonderful gowns in all their glory....and here is a quick snap of me on the grand staircase in my finery too.....

Beautiful day brimming full of vintage loving inspiration !

Double Delight Cookies


110g soft butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted plain flour
1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder
1 teaspon bi carb soda
125g melted dark or milk chocolate
280g roughly chopped dark or milk chocolate


Set oven at 160 degrees C. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until light and creamy (10 mins aprox). Add egg and vanilla and beat 4 minutes. Sift through flour, cocoa, bi carb soda and melted chocolate. Add extra roughly chopped chocolate and stir to combine. Roll mixture into round balls the size you desire ( I went for golf ball size myself). Place on baking tray lined with baking paper and flatten with a fork. Bake in oven for 12 minutes, and allow to cool before snuggling down in front of your favourite movie with a mug of hot cocoa and a plate of these !! Mmmmmmm.......

Monday, March 15, 2010

Prize Winners !

Here are our five very lucky prize winners who have scored themsleves a double pass each to the movie "My one and only" - heartfelt congrats to you all !! Do enjoy your special night out thanks to Hopscotch Promotions and Alice Jeans !

A big thankyou to all the wonderful people who entered the competition via blog, facebook, text and word of mouth - and you were all correct....the answer to the question "What colour is the Cadillac convertable that Ann purchases and travels across America in?" is BLUE ( BABY BLUEor LIGHT BLUE if you really want to get technical!!)

Could the winners please contact me with their postal addresses and I will get the double passes to you ASAP !

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My One and Only - Competition, Prizes and a great period movie !

"Never never look in the rear view mirror darling, it makes no difference what's behind you"

What a wonderful quote !! It is out of a darling new film "My One and Only", set in 1953 and brimming with all things captivating, about the era. Magnificent music, dreamy clothing, cars, architecture and design - all the things we love here at Alice Jeans. And then there is the facinating storyline and the meaty characters.....

My One and Only, directed by Richard Loncraine, is inspired by the incidents in the life of actor and Hollywood icon George Hamilton. This breezy journey follows the refined and enchanting Ann Deveraux (Renee Zellweger), who packs up her life, including two teenage sons, buys a Cadillac convertible and embarks on a cross-country trip to get away from philandering, society bandleader Dan (Kevin Bacon.) Anns goal: to find herself a new husband. Yet what this unconventional family discover is something altogether more wonderful.

Intriguing !

To celebrate the release of this film in cinemas across Australia on March 11,  I have 5 in season double passes to give away - How EXCITING !!!!

All you have to do is simply watch the trailer for My One and Only (click on the title here) and answer the question "What colour is the Cadillac convertable that Ann purchases and travels across America in?" Send me your entre as a comment either on the blog, or on Facebook, or email, and your name will be popped into the draw !

For a second entre into the draw,  forward a link to this competition on to your friends (including me at so I am aware that you have done so) and I will pop your name into the draw a second time - double your chances !!

I will be drawing the winning names NEXT MONDAY (15/03/2010) !! So be quick to get your entre's in.....I need time to be able to post the tickets to you if you win ! Dont forget to check back on Monday to see if you have won as well....I will need to chase up your postal address if your lucky number comes up !!

Best of luck to everyone - and make sure, even if you dont come up lucky this time, that you get out and enjoy this film none the less....movies are a wonderful way to experience the many and varied aspects of history !!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Living Dolls - Miss March

I draw my inspiration for vintage living from many places, one of which is the fine group of women who live vintage every day (just like me!!). So, I have decided to honour their style and dedication by creating this section on my blog - Living Dolls. Living Dolls are mothers, nurses, models, photographers, graphic designers, grandmothers, students, teachers - infact you name it, they come from every walk of life but have this one thing in common - they love and live vintage ! Be inspired with me......

Meet the ever lovely Slinky Sparkles - our Miss March.......

What does 'vintage' mean to you?

To me vintage is finding the perfect necklace hidden under a pile of 80’s cast-offs at a Sunday morning vintage fair!

What was it that first prompted your interest in vintage culture?

The aesthetics really drew me in. I love the idea of wearing a beautiful 60 year old evening gown and bringing it back to life. Such glamorous dresses deserve to be worn and taken to fabulous parties!

What is your favourite era, and do you 'live it' every day? In what ways?

I love the 50’s and 60’s. I suit the cut of 50’s clothes for everyday but I have some amazing floaty 60’s evening gowns and teeny weenie go-go dresses with tassels and beads that I wear for burlesque shows! I can’t resist vintage accessories like scarves and gloves so I always throw those on even if I’m just going to the shops!

Tell us about your favourite item of vintage clothing, kitchenalia, music, furniture or whatever!

I used to have some amazing hot sticks from the 60’s. They were my aunts and made the perfect curls. I lost them when I moved to London and my hair has never been the same! I’ve not seen anything similar but if you owned some, you wouldn’t ever sell them so I don’t expect to see another set.

Can you share with us why vintage culture continues to hold such appeal for you?

The main appeal is the people! I’ve met so many friends on the vintage scene and I love how passionate and knowledgeable they are about the history. I’ve been to rock and roll clubs all over the world and there’ll always be a heated discussion in the bathrooms over where someone got their shoes or where the best record stalls are.

Do you have any tips for anyone starting out in the vintage scene?

Go along to swing nights, burlesque nights, vintage markets and weekenders. They’re really good places to get chatting with people and have fun. When buying clothes, arm yourself with your measurements and tape measure as the size on the label means nothing!

Now is your chance to provide us with an overview of who you are and what you do. Tell my readers as much or as little as you like!!!

A British burlesque bombshell, renowned for her Monroe-esque curves & coquettish, cheesecake charm. Slinky Sparkles is a glittering ecdysiast, first-class performance artiste & versatile pin-up model, transforming from demure English Rose to seductive Silver Screen Siren in the flash of a nylon'ed gam...

Slinky Sparkles is a versatile & elegant performance artiste. Appearing throughout the UK & international burlesque scene, Miss Sparkles regularly seduces audiences at events in London & beyond!

Finally, what or who inspires you and why?

I’m always envious of other people’s wardrobes and hair styling abilities! I’m inspired by friends, fans and glamorous people that I meet everyday!

Retro wares at Refreshed on the Murray....

I love to promote great shops, especially those in little country towns, and particularly those who are having a red hot go at marketing something a little different from the ordinary. Refresh'd on the Murray is one of those sort of places in my own home town. Carrying a beautiful array of locally produced products, coffee, and food, and some beautiful retro furniture, giftware and clothes, it is a place where I love to take my poppets for a leisurley morning tea. The kids love to run amongst the rows of lavander, and I just love the great produce and retro antiques ! If you ever sojurn in Echuca, be sure and take the time to enjoy this little gem.

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