Monthly Archives: June 2012

The finished dress! (The Vintage Vixen Dress)


So here, it is! Took me a good 6 hours I’d say in total, far longer then usual because of learning the pockets.


I’ve still got to buy and sew in a zip in to the back, and I’m thinking about adding some decoration of some kind on one of the shoulders…maybe some beautiful wooden buttons or brown lace detailing.

Really happy with it, think its going to be really versatile!



In-Seam Pocket Tutorial – perfect for Dresses.


So I am a completely self-taught seamstress.  I grew up watching the women in my family sewing, embroidering and making and learnt nearlly all of my skills by watching them and also trial of error, apart from a learning some seriously basic skills at GCSE level in school thats pretty much my fashion education.

I’ve been wanting to find a really simple tutorial on in-seam pockets for a while now and I spumbled upon this one today whilst in the middle of sewing my green velvet 60’s shift dress(previous post).  I thought I would share it with you guys as I found this online tutorial really useful.

The process can also be  found here:

I just literally drew a mittenlike shape a little larger then my hand in the same shape as the one in the first image.  I cut out 4 peices in the same shape out of my velvet (2 right side, 2 wrong side), and then followed the steps.  As you guys know from my last post, i dont have an iron so i had to do with out and just made doubly sure as i was pinning… it worked fine, even without an iron, and now i have MASTERED the side seam pocket! HORRAH!

Here is a photo mid action.  Have a go at it….put pockets in your favourite pattern! Mmmmm…poooockets……(oh dear ;-P)



Sunday Sewing Sesh, with PJs and a cup of Tea.


Mmmm, you gotta love a bank holiday weekend! Tom (my partner) and I went to a Fancy Dress 50th party last night dressed up as a gentleman and a hippy mother sporting full suit tails and a mahoosive pregnancy belly, pretty hilarious especially on the train ride over there (im not pregnany by the way though it was RATHER convincing).  After a long lie in this morning, Im finally getting round to making a green velvet dress I’ve been planning on making myself for about a month now.  The pattern is based on a beautiful McCalls 1960’s shift dress pattern that I have altered over the years, by making it have a boat neck at the front leading down to a deep plunge at the back of the dress.  The pattern is about a modern UK 10 when made up, so I always have to add a few inches to the hips when making for myself (Im a UK12-14).  Ive made and sold garments using this pattern quiet a few times already.  Here are some of the previous variations/reincarnations:


The first image is the same basic variation as I am making today, though I will be making it a little larger at the hips.  The second is a cropped asymmetrical top version with a beautiful lace trimming on the base (great for layering).  The third is a dress I made for myself out of some beautiful batik fabric I picked up on one of my travels to Indonesia, its still an absolute favourite and great with leggings and over jeans, and the fourth photo shows it in its reincarnation as a cropped waistcoat in some awesome upholstery fabric I picked up for free and amazing mother of pearl buttons….it is pretty steampunk-esque.

The pattern is a favourite, once I fall in love with the fit of a pattern i have a tendancy of using it again and again and creating new patterns from the original, though it’s been hidden away in my pattern folder for over a year now.  A few days ago I took it out, blew off the cobwebs and made a beautiful variation on the original out of purple lace with a contrasting lining fabric.  This time instead of using biased binding to finish the neck edges, I used a small ‘lip’ of lace to the edge instead.   I saw a dress very similar in ‘Friends Couture’ on Degraves St in Melbourne which gave me the inspiration to take this pattern out and try this added feature.  Here is the finished dress I made a few days ago.

(This dress is a UK10/US8 and is available for purchase for $65 on my online shop )

So all that background aside, this is what I have been up to this morning….excuse the pyjamas but I did warn you!

Excuse the crumply fabric, the iron has gone haywire, so i’ve had to do with out it today….pain in the ass as all you creative people know!

So yeh, thats where im at so far! Now lots of darts to pin in, and fingers crossed it should be ready by 5pm for the sunday evening pub gathering i’m heading too later. Photos of finished dress to come!

I’d love to hear from you all about your favourite patterns, maybe even see images of alterations of the same pattern! Just post responces in the comments ❤

Much love everyone and HAPPY SUNDAY!




So….Im just gonna put it out there….I have some serious ‘child baring’ hips.  Some people would say that Ive got an hourglass figure and that they’d kill for some curves, but I tell you what: The grass is ALWAYS greener!  Needless to say my little blessings has been the BAIN of my life through my teenage year (spent almost entirely clothed in dresses, not a pair of jeans in sight).  It is now only in my early/mid 20’s that I am starting to branch out to OTHER garments like you know…TROUSERS(!) and such.  Call it resting with my demons, self preservation, or just a general giving up on caring all the time but hell it feels good!

Despite all that, the good ol’ empire line dress is still a staple in the Bex wardrobe, and I pretty much always live in anything that brings me in under the bust or at the waist, and floats over those hips and thighs.  I’ve been really getting into the swing of Melbourne living over the past month or so and have picked up the bug: all things retro/vintage, and all things COFFEE.  Mix together some seriously cool 1950’s style Circle Skirts, and shit loads of caffeine and you get some SERIOUSLY PUMPED  sewing sessions!! (no image needed…you can imagine the jittering hands just milimetres from a raring needle right?!)  This new obsession with all things high-waisted has brought me back to my old teenage dilemma of dresses and cold weather: I am an English lass after all born and bred, and English weather is only really suited to dresses for approximately 4 days of every year when the sun decides to gingerly make an appearance from behind the storm clouds.

AND I HAVE FINALLY COME UP WITH AN AWESOME SOLUTIONS! Cropped Jackets.  Comfy and cosy giving you enough warmth to get through the comparatively autumnal cool of the Aussie winter, but not ending up with super frump dress bunch that you get from full length jumpers and jackets.

Ive been experimenting with a pattern that I drew up from a fantastic little vintage cropped jacket I found for £1 in a vintage fair 2 years ago.  I love it, even though it is only 1 layer of medium thickness cotton and gives little warmth.  The shape is amazing, very 1940’s in style with a small collar and fabric covered buttons down the middle.  I used it as a base for my Jacket pattern because I always found the cut to be so flattering, and it cuts off just at the waist thus being perfect for wearing with dresses and high waisted skirts.  Steadily over a few takes I have created a really beautiful pattern from the original jacket, with quarter length sleeves, asymmetrical front fastening, and a massive cowl neck.  I have also added a waist band for better shaping, that ties at the back (though in the future I am thinking of using buttons to fasten waistband at back.)  Here are some images of the finished product available for sale on my Online Store:

Nomads of the Plain- Cropped Jacket in natural cream Linen (bohemian,ethnic,goddess,hippie,gypsy,sexy,elven,fairy,women)

Nomads of the Plain- Cropped Jacket in natural cream Linen (bohemian,ethnic,goddess,hippie,gypsy,sexy,elven,fairy,women)

Lady of Lothlorien- Cropped Jacket in Teal/Brown  (bohemian,ethnic,goddess,hippie,gypsy,sexy,elven,fairy,women,natural,wool)

Lady of Lothlorien- Cropped Jacket in Forest Green Velvet (bohemian,ethnic,goddess,hippie,gypsy,elf,elven,elvish,fairy,women,natural,wool)
I’m loving this pattern, and just how versatile the jackets are.  I’ve been living in the first one I made, a few weeks ago now.  Its made from a thick teal Wool mix with a contrasting dark teal Corduroy used for the edging of the sleeves and the cowl neck.  I made mine with long sleeves because I wanted it to be a super warm jacket, but I really love this design with the 3/4 sleeves as in the images above.
More posts to come soon, of what I have been working on recently.  Feel free to check out the jackets seen above, all are still available and full descriptions/prices etc can befound on my Etsy Online Shop.
Thanks for reading!

Welcome to my brand spankin’ new SEWING BLOG!


Hello nobody, everybody and ANYBODY out there!

This is the first post in a new blog that I am starting, charting my progress in setting up my online shop ‘Selkie’ selling hand-made and unique Women’s garments and accessories.  On this blog I will keep a record of the designs I am working on, and share images of the process and finished garments.  This blog not only will be a great way for me to see my progress but also a fantastic online source of inspiration and ideas for all you crafters and creators out there!

A bit about myself: I started sewing clothes when I was about 15, creating customised and upcycled peices for myself and my friends.  Soon I was recieving a lot of interest in my clothing and got inspired to start selling my clothes through a small boutique in my homewtown, and create commissions for friends of friends.  Steadily my confidence and love of sewing grew and, whilst moving down to Bristol to take part in an Art Degree, Myself and a friend set up a clothing company selling ethical and upcycled clothing through markets and stores around the South-West.

Now, I am in Melbourne! And after a massive year of change that has found me over the other side of the world, in a beautiful relationship, I have started out on my own, this time under the name ”Selkie”.  Selkie’s are mythical Seal Women who take off their seal skins and turn into beautiful maidens.  The folk stories speak of fisherman who fall in love with these women and steal their skins so they can never go back to the oceans.  I was born by the sea, and the name brings back beautiful memories of folk tales, hunting for oysters and driftwood on the beach with my grandmother, and warm salty sea air.  I love the idea of clothing being like a second skin, allowing us to explore parts of our personality, change our identity when ever we feel like it.  For me clothing is a way of expressing myself, standing out from the crowd, wrapping myself up in magic.

So here I am,

So excited about this new adventure!